Business Doncaster's Investment Officer for Retail, Adrian Banks, discusses his role, developments in the town centre and how he can help your business.
We are delighted to see businesses reopening across Doncaster with the easing of restrictions this week.
It has been an incredibly tough year for everyone, in particular high street shops and the hospitality sector, but we are positive about the future in Doncaster and our town centre.
My role within Business Doncaster is Investment Officer for Retail and, as the title suggests, I aim to attract interest from businesses looking to move into the town. However, I am also here to support the fantastic businesses we already have in the borough.
I work closely with our Town Centre Development Officer, Andrew McMahon, to support town centre businesses and act as a conduit to my contacts within Doncaster Council. We will hear more from Andrew later this week.
Our focus now is on the reopening of high street.
I have lived in Doncaster all of my life and worked in retail on the high street for many years. I remember market days as a child and have always loved the area and the history of the town centre.
I am passionate about helping the town centre to reach its full potential and I spend a lot of time speaking to businesses there.
Recently, we have been busy surveying and gathering intelligence from businesses throughout Doncaster to feed into our economic recovery plan.
There is a wide range of support available to the retail and hospitality sector right now.
Firstly, I wonder if you have heard of ShopAppy?
The Yorkshire-based website gives our local shops and restaurants a 24-hour shop window and it is free for the next 12 months for businesses across Doncaster.
When your business signs up, you can build your own mini-site in which customers can browse, book, buy, collect or get a convenient home delivery with one simple checkout – depending on what you’d like to offer.
Over recent years we have seen a huge increase in online retail and the pandemic appears to have amplified this further. With ShopAppy, not only will your business build a bigger online presence but it can also increase footfall into your shop through the click and collect option.
Restaurants can also set up a table booking service, which may be useful from this week onwards!
If you’d like to know more visit - https://www.businessdoncaster.co.uk/business-support/business-growth/shopappy/
On top of this, there are also grants such as the Restart Grant and the Doncaster Economic Recovery Grant available.
The Restart Grant is up to £6,000 for the non-essential retail sector and up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors.
If you have received a Local Restrictions Support Grant or Additional Restrictions Grant during the pandemic, you do not need to reapply for this, as you should have already received payment.
If you haven’t – you can find out more and apply here: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/covid-19-restart-grant-application
The Economic Recovery Grant reopens on the 1st June and allows eligible businesses to receive grants of up to £5,000 to help fund projects.
Find out more about it here: https://www.businessdoncaster.co.uk/business-support/covid-19-support/doncaster-council-economic-recovery-grant/
I hope that we can now look forward to a bright future for retail and hospitality within Doncaster and its town centre.
The superb new Savoy Cinema complex opens its doors today and we’ll be announcing some of the restaurant occupiers soon.
I’m working with local developers to fill voids in the town centre. Scot lane is almost fully occupied with exciting new retailers and independent businesses whilst there is a growing food scene down Nether Hall Road and at the Wool Market.
I am here to support your business. If you have an idea and want to do something, bring it forward and let us know how we can achieve a better town centre that works for us all together.
Good luck to everyone who is reopening this week!
You can contact Adrian on 01302 734966 or email Adrian.Banks@doncaster.gov.uk
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